While the idea of attending weddings fills most of us with a mix of joy and mild panic, there's no need to stress. By following a few golden rules, you can navigate the waters of wedding season with grace and style. So far in this series we’ve covered decoding dress codes and the rules of RSVP’s. Today we’re tackling everything else! Here’s all the etiquette you’ll need to know the next time you’re a wedding guest…
The Art of Gift Giving
- Always check if there's a wedding registry. It's the couple's subtle way of saying, "These are the things we actually want."
- Cash is king. If you're lost or the registry items are way out of budget, it's acceptable to give cash or a check in a heartfelt card. How much? Gauge it based on your relationship with the couple and your personal budget.
- Don't delay. If you're sending a gift, try to do it before the wedding or at least within two months afterward.
- Being fashionably late might be great for parties but not for weddings. Aim to arrive about 30 minutes early.
- Turn off or silence your phone. And resist the urge to answer calls or texts during the ceremony.
- Unless stated otherwise, it's best to leave photography to the professionals. The couple didn’t hire a photographer to have Aunt Karen’s iPad blocking their first kiss.
Onto the Reception
- Planning to give a toast? Keep it short, sweet, and free of any stories that'll make Grandma blush.
- When it's buffet style, wait your turn. No one likes a food-grabbing stampede. And remember, it's not an all-you-can-eat contest.
- Know your limits and drink responsibly. There's a fine line between "life of the party" and "Why is Bob dancing with the coat rack?"
- It's the couple's special day. While it's okay to engage them in short conversations, remember they have many guests to attend to. Avoid monopolizing their time or bringing up potentially sensitive subjects.
- Before leaving, find the couple or their parents and offer a quick thank you for the invitation. A graceful exit is always appreciated.